Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Treading water... but it's time to swim.

My dear friend Dianna shared a blog post from Sally Clarkson this morning. I'm moved.  I'm convicted. 


I don't want a condo or a shack - which is what I have been building. I've been treading water for far too long without swimming a stroke for years. I woke up most days without a real action plan. I've never really meal planned in all my life (except for the few times I've tried to be Pinterest perfect.) I'm short tempered with my daughters and honestly I have no idea why. I haven't been submissive to my husband like I should, instead I've tried to be the boss of the family since day one. A boss without a real plan.... Sounds like a horrifying train wreck. And that's what it's been. I've whined and complained about my health and fitness for years, but only made temporary fixes to change. And them back to my old ways. I'm sad when I see pregnant ladies and small babies. I feel inadequate in everything I do. 

But the real problem... The top sickness I have... Is that I haven't been fully surrendered to Christ. That my heart wasn't wholly ready. I wanted to stay 'in charge'...  But clearly that just doesn't work. Back to the treading and living in a storm with no resources that Sally mentions above. 

I want an estate... Large, beautiful and glorifying to God. 

Jesus is the only way to build an estate. Full trust, full surrender; white flag! 

It's time for me to start living life seriously.... Eternally. It's time for planning and preparing. It's time to work on character and spend quality time with Proverbs 31 women in my life.  

What about you?  Are treading water without really swimming anywhere? Tired and exhausted like me? I invite you to take rest in The Lord. Oh I'm so grateful for that peace. Now only if I can remember to live in it. 


Oh and hey Dianna, it's time you started a blog friend. XO #jariwouldloveit

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Generous Community (MTDSA)

For the past 13 days, a small group of friends have been busy sharing a very special event that our friend Jessie has worked so hard on.  We have contacted many people, whether friends and business owners we know personally, or business we frequent or new businesses to our area. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are blown away with the generosity of our friends and communities! 
Tonight, three of us sat down and worked for hours on the finishing touches for tomorrow's silent auction. There are so many amazing services and products that were generously donated to help raise funds for the lending library for the Montana Down Syndrome Association. 
So here's the thing... We've worked hard and so many people have given so selflessly, that we really need this to be a success. The lending library is a resource that has been a long time missing from our community. 

If you're local, you can help in a couple of ways. Please share the above photo with your friends to help spread the word about the art show and silent auction. Please bring a friend or two (or ten!) down to The Starving Artist tomorrow (Tuesday Sept 30th) from 6-8pm to hear about the joys and pain of Down Syndrome. The silent auction will begin right around 7pm and we need some bidders for this fabulous gifts! We have everything from Silpada jewelry to Lost Trail lift tickets... 80/20 personal health coaching to Velata chocolate and cheeses... A year of guitar lessons, handmade goodies, thousands of dollars in gift certificates to many places in our valley, a few sessions with our most talented photographers in the area, Scentsy and so much more! Delicious coffee, incredible ice cream ($1.50 Big Dipper scoops!) and smiles will be in abundance. You definitely want to be there. 

If you live too far or can't make it tomorrow evening, please say a prayer that we'll have a high attendance of bidders and that the night will be a success. 

Off to bed so I can attack my final list tomorrow. Excited. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Griz Homecoming!

I was an emotional wreck after a a busy and stressful morning. Honestly, I don't even want to talk about our morning... So we won't. 

But our mid morning was much better.

There is something about a marching band in a parade that makes my emotions go in to overdrive. After a little poll online, I know I'm not the only one. 
'Up with Montana!'
I had to squat down beside this little one for the majority of the parade. We were packed in like sardines and all the way up to the parade line so every time a band or crazy floats went by, she didn't see or know until last second so some really startled her. 
There were 133 parade entries this year and after over an hour and a half we finally saw our Montana Avalanche girls! 
I was so busy waving and 'woo hoo'ing I forgot to get more photos! 
One of my absolutely favorite entries was 'The Pug Club!' Seriously how cute are they? Makes me realllllly want another pug. 
And this little bear was quite the bear until she saw that there was candy involved at the parade! We have a strict no throwing policy when it comes to candy but some little girl decked out in her Griz gear had no problems ending up with a lap full!

Like my friend Rachael said "Looks like she pooped candy!"

Do you like parades? After today and many years going by without attending one, I'm going to say I'm a big fan! And I think Avin is too. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mom Down

Joel bent down to kiss me like he does every morning before he leaves the house for work. As I tried to sit up, a jolting pain ignited my whole left side of my neck, through my shoulder and down my back. 

I couldn't move. I was in so much pain. 

First thoughts... "Ouch!" Followed by what almost any mom would think on any given day "I'm too busy to be hurt. Who's going to take Avin to her doctor appointment? How will I feed and school the girls? How will I drive us to our dentist appointment? How will I get the Scentsy delivered like I promised? Who will take Arly to volleyball camp? The laundry needs done. Bathrooms need cleaned." and on and on. 

I must confess that I have the best little family. Joel was amazing today! He managed to take Avin in for her appointment and shots, deliver Scentsy goodies to three customers, grab a few needed groceries, get the parade float delivered and even squeezed in a hair cut. His day was full! Mind you, this was mostly out of his normal working hours! 

Our big girls were super helpful today too. (Like most days!) They made me breakfast in bed in which they even had to call their dad to figure out how to grind coffee beans! They did their school and whatever they needed help with they brought into the bedroom. The chased and caught our runaway dog. They helped with Avin, laundry and house pick up. Alyn even made me a homemade rice sock thanks to my sweet friend Jesica's suggestion. 

I laid in bed. Hearing my family living life on the other side of the doorway was hard. So much I was missing out on. No big events really just every day life. 

I'm thankful for today though. Apparently The Lord knew I needed rest. Even though it was a forced rest it was a nice rest. Though painful. Nice. 

I even got a little spoiled. Breakfast in bed, fresh ground coffee, a foot rub, baby and puppy snuggles. I got read to by my middle little, a friend visited and my family brought me home fresh flowers. Another friend who is a Physical Therapist, worked on my neck and showed me some stretches. It felt a bit better! 

And to top of the night, after Joel and the two littles got back from float decorating, they brought home some of our favorite Chinese food! After laying on aromatic warm rice all day it sure hit the spot. 

Praying for a productive day tomorrow. But grateful for the day today. 

Thankful I work for myself and didn't have to call in and ask for time off. Thankful for yearning to be a part of the everyday chaos in our home. It really makes me love and miss the little things.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to watch some more Netflix with my lover. 

Speaking of Netflix, what's your favorite show it series to watch?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A No Photo Glimpse into My Day

I cannot believe that I went the whole day without taking one photo. Not a single snapshot of our day. 

But here is a little glimpse at what it was like to be me today....

•Woke up on an air mattress at our church. Last night we were overnight hosts for FamilyPromise, an organization that helps homeless families get back on their feet. 

•quick drive home to finish laying out and prepping the girls' school work for the week. 

•a speedy drive back to town to make it back to the church to surround myself with many other women and talk about Jesus. 

•a hug with a friend... Letting go of control and finding peace through heartache 

•quick shopping trip to staples to get an engineer print and pencil sharpener 

•pit stop at the Dollar Tree to grab a few pieces of foam board for a DIY project (coming soon) 

•greenhouse stop for pumpkins, mums and gourds

•leftovers for lunch

•read 3 chapters of a book to the girls 

•two loads of laundry (someone left kleenexs in their pocket!)

•nap next to my middle little and a pile of clothes on my bed

•prep for Scentsy team meeting 

•another trip back to town to drop Arly off at volleyball camp

•downtown coffee house for my first pumpkin spice latte of the season and handwrote a few cards to some friends. 

•Scentsy meeting and lots of ideas shared and laughter 

•drove down a one way the wrong way 

•grabbed a table for dinner with my handsome husband for his birthday

•sent the wrong meal back to the kitchen

•cleaned up a beverage mess spilled all over from a little one 

•picked up Arly from babysitting job in town. 

•drove home. 

•put baby in tub

•put baby in shower

•cleaned poop out of tub

•two kiddo massages (apparently the oldest child is too old for lotion massages now :(

•quick snuggles then bed time

•chatted with three Scentsy customers and shared the business opportunity

•netflix with my birthday boy 

•in bed alone... While he sleeps on the couch. 

•going to read for a bit then close my eyes

•but first drag my hubby to bed. 

There you have it. A little bit of my life today. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

False Reality

I've been extremely overwhelmed with life. From the moment I woke up to the minute my head hit the pillow, I felt behind. Late. Lacking. 

I was uncertain of everything I did. Was it enough? Too much? I struggled to find the good in things. I was seriously, undoubtedly lost. 

Every day when Joel came home from I would break down. I was a horrible wife, mother, teacher, leader, and everything else I was suppose to be good at. 

Why was I feeling this way? 

I'll tell you why. I was trying to be a law keeper. I was trying to do it all... All by myself. I wanted a perfectly decorated, cleaned  and organized home. I was craving order in every inch of homeschool and out of the house activities... even meal planning. I wanted to volunteer and serve without distraction. I wanted to run a successful business by doing everything, all the time. I wanted my life to be perfect. 

For some reason, I truly thought that I would get there. I thought the kids wouldn't fight. I thought Joel would affirm me in all my successes... And failures. I thought the laundry would always be caught up. I thought my toddler would listen and obey joyfully and even potty train in just a few short days. 

After last nights campfire conversation and a chat with a dear friend at church this morning, I was slammed with a message preached directly to my heart. 

Am I fully surrendered to Christ? Like fully? All of me? Completely? 

I didn't have to dig all that deep to know the truth. I wasn't. 

I wasn't living in His grace. I wasn't relying on Christ. I was trying to rely on myself. I was trying to be perfect when the only Perfect One was right there, waiting for me to find peace in Him. 

I wasn't praying. I wasn't in The Word. I was drifting. Slowly. But still drifting. 

I'm uncertain if since the miscarriage I was depressed. Feeling inadequate in all areas of my life. Trying to fill that void with perfection. 

A friend shared this verse with me this morning and it brought instant peace and clarity to my heart. 

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28
(A little paint therapy and art for our mantle) 

These are the words of our loving and gracious Father. These words bring me hope. And peace. And rest. 

Letting go of perfection & this false reality.  Grabbing on to grace. 

Sprys Hike

We made plans a while ago with some of our great friends to go camping. Friday was the day we finally pulled out of town and heading on our journey. 
Only 16 minutes from our home and we were there. Parked up in Charles Water campground up at Bass Creek. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS PLACE EXISTED?!  
It is absolutely gorgeous. I don't think we could have picked a better time to go. The traffic was slow, the weather was beautiful and the trees were gorgeous! 
Today we had absolutely no plans other than just go with the flow. It was incredible. After a lazy morning and numerous passes with the volleyball, we put on our tennis shoes and started our hike. 
Friends, this regretfully was our first time hiking since we moved to this beautiful state.  Almost SEVEN YEARS ago!!! 

We only hiked up about one mile before we found the perfect little babble of the creek to throw some fishing lines in. Josh was the master behind the poles and bait... Live worms! Our girls loved it! 
Avin was the one scaring all the fish away. She wanted to 'frow!' rocks the whole time. And we let her. 
Alyn learned that when you snag your hook, you have to get in and get it. Thankful for Keens and a warm shower. The water was freezing cold! 
After we got back, ate delicious elk steaks, grilled sweet potatoes and salad (all of our food was amazing this weekend so far. I have a lot to learn from Cameryn!) we set the kiddos up with a movie and started our nightly fire. 
We had such incredible campfire conversations. Mostly about Jesus. I'm thankful for friends who will be open and honest and sharpen me. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Date Night - Pedal Pub

Joel and I have been fairly consistent on making sure that we have time together outside of the home. 

We both recognize that dating in our marriage is vital for a strong relationship. 

We have done the normal dinner and drinks, but last night we were invited by some friends to try a pedal pub experience. 

Honestly, I thought this was going to be a drunkfest so I was hesitant to say yes. But I'm glad we chose to go and check it out. It was far from what I was expecting and turned into so much more. 

At 5:45pm, after settling our kiddos with the sitters, we arrived at Market on Front.
 This was the beginning of our experience.  I didn't even know this place existed. {see what we get for NEVER being home!}
After meeting the rest of the pedal crew, we walked to the bottom of the parking garage and found 'the bike!' 
It only took about 15 people and 13,383,675 heart beats later to push this traveling party up two ramps. This is exactly when I knew that what we were going to experience was well beyond my fitness level! 
Once we popped up the canopy, it wasn't long before our little journey had begun.  
Thirst Gear gives you a 3 hour tour (kind of like Gilligans Island, but without the waves) so you get to choose how you spend your time. We chose to pedal the longest leg of the trip and start our night at Draught Works Brewery. It didn't seem like that long of a trip until we started pedaling. Going 5 mph through and across downtown Missoula is quite the haul. Next time I'll definitely bring water... And maybe even wear biker shorts! (You know, the padded underwear type!)
During our trip, it was cool to just look around and see our little city. As fast as we go, sometimes I don't notice the little things. Last night I saw the first signs of autumn. That little orange tree reminded me of the transition and change that had been going on in my life. In my heart. 
After about 20 minutes we finally arrived at the brewery and we were hungry. First stop, Beastro! Joel and I shared a burger and sipped on an IPA. It was delicious. 
As we were walking back out to our bike, I thought this little ride would be a lot quicker and maybe just as eye catching as the 15 seater. Just as fun looking anyway. (Only in Missoula!)
Next stop, Kettle House north side. Park on the bridge. 
Walk through the tunnel. 
Up a lot of stairs. 
And beer and peanuts is your reward! Amber was my choice here and Joel opted for a Cold Smoke on nitro. 
One final stop to round out our night... 
A 'Pam' here (Pabst Blue Ribbon with clamato juice) and our 3 hours was up. It was a short 5 minute pedal back to the parking garage.  After a ridiculously fast and crazy ride down the ramp, we were ready to park! Friends, my legs were tired, my lungs burning, and my tush was numb.
One of my favorite parts about tonight was showing up and seeing one of my newest Scentsy girls on the same tour! I vote for our next team meeting to be a ride through the town together.... Team building, sharing ideas and laughing. 
One final photo of our pedal group before it was time for us to snag our littles back for the night. It was fun to meet this group of pedalers. We only knew 3 people but when this night was over, everyone felt like friends. It took a lot of work (way more than I was expecting) to make this ride a success. But was worth it. 

Who wants to join us for a ride sometime soon?!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Yee haw

Little Miss Alyn was beyond excited to start a new hobby this week. On Tuesday morning, we enrolled her into a horseback riding club for homeschoolers. 

I have been dreaming of this day to surprise her as she is so in love with horses (well, all animals really.. But especially horses).  

Dreaming, but not searching. If I had been searching I would have found this place long ago. It's only 3 minutes away and is tucked behind some of or best friends home. 

Dunrovin Ranch. 
Since we went to Oklahoma to visit our friends, Alyn hadn't stopped talking about being a little rider like her buddy Addison. 

So Wednesday started a new adventure for this little 9 year old. 
She wanted to go with a more cowgirl feel than rider so she opted for a pair of Ariats. She used her hard earned cash to pay for a boot. We bought the other. *wink*
With the help of Sarah, her coach, she chose a dude horse,Monte, and learned now to tie a daisy chain and brush him. Next was the saddle... That required a bit of help from Coach Sarah.  
Before long she was walking that stubborn horse all around the arena. (When I look in the background, all I feel is awe. Awe for the mountains and the valley we live in). 
Finally it was time to get on. I love that these little girls (there are three 9 yr old girls in Alyn's class... One of her best friends) needed a step stool. 
And you should have seen these smiles. I'm sure the sun shined brighter because these little bits were beaming ear to ear that they were riding. 
I'm so grateful that Alyn gets this opportunity. I'm also thankful that I get a couple hours to myself every Wednesday.  Since starting our school year I feel way behind. Way behind of everythig. Way behind on life. I'm not sure what that means other than I feel like I'm out of time and doing everything like a crazy person. 

Because Alyn needs a parent on the premise during her two hour lesson, I get to take that time to catch up on my administrative work. That sounds fancy but it's very much needed. Two precious hours to meal plan, talk with some team members or hostesses, or even read uninterrupted. I need this time. 

Thankful that Alyn loves Monte... And that Monte will be waiting for her every week. And this table will be waiting for me.